Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grishaverse #1
Published by Square Fish on June 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 358
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.


I am literally bereft, annoyed, betrayed, and upset. I was really loving this book. So much so that before I even reached 50%, I purchased the other two in the trilogy and now all I can think is what a waste of money! I am beyond disappointed. I feel as though this has been a tremendous bait and switch.

Perhaps I am simply done with YA fantasy and taking it out on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Perhaps I expected more after reading Six of Crows (though now I’m worried about how the second in the duology will end considering this.) But this was a story so absolutely contrived and following the basic YA fantasy formula to a T that I feel a fool for being bamboozled for the first 74% of the novel.

For the first three quarters, I was surprised that I loved it as much as I did. I thought wow, a strong heroine. Yes, she moons over boring boy, but still. And then View Spoiler » and begins to grow confident. She became her own person and decided to try all of these new things and new people.

And then, the last quarter was a complete devolution. The book goes and falls into cookie cutter YA fantasy formula with the girl needing rescuing, boy coming back, and the most syrupy saccharine revelation of them all View Spoiler ». Clearly, neither understand politics and power.

I am giving this two stars because the first 74% was pretty good and had me hopeful. Unfortunately, the end of the book was such a tremendous let-down, I cannot bear to give it anything higher. Will not continue the series and cannot in good faith recommend Shadow and Bone.


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